Sunday, March 23, 2014

PulseAudio in Ubuntu 12.04

How about that. If I'd waited two more weeks, it would have been 6 years since my last post on this blog.. But I'm antsy, so here we gooo....

Kind of like walking in at the middle of the movie here. For now, will be lumping these under "so what i did was"..

Sooo... What I did was.... I've got several LiveDVDs that I work with these days. Some graphics ones and long time favorite, Knoppix. BUT.. This second am working on a laptop that came with Ubuntu pre-installed.

Today's dilemma... Ran into an issue yesterday where the laptop's onboard microphone became mysteriously... muted. No, I didn't do it. Last time I made changes, it was to go to:

  • System Settings
  • Sound
  • Input tab
  • Click on Internal microphone
  • REMOVE the checkmark next to "Mute"

That was about two weeks ago and haven't been back in there since. AND YET.. there we were yesterday and my microphone's back muted. I will grant that possibly an accidental combination of keyboard strokes did the dirty deed. Life lesson learned the hard way was to ALWAYS "test-test one two three" to make sure the sound level is working. If not, software is likely muted.

In the process yesterday, discovered that under the Output tab in the Sound System Settings, speakers were not working when "Digital Output S/PDIF" was highlighted. Alrighty then..

Today hit the search engine and found someone at the Ubuntu forum had the same issue. They mentioned HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface). Lost me immediately BUT I do know I've encountered that early on in Ubuntu, just no clue where. May or may not be the problem, time and accidental stumblings will tell.

Per the Ubuntu Forums suggestion, I followed through today by downloading PulseAudio Volume Control:

sudo apt-get install pavucontrol

What program name to use to download I noticed is provided if you go to Ubuntu Software Center. Pick software you like then click to highlight it. You'll be offered an "Info" button. Once in there, 100% of the time I've found the package name. Don't include version numbers, just first part of the name and you more likely than not will be ok.

So now I have PulseAudio Volume Control installed. I followed the further directions to wander through the tabs. Apparently has two interfaces. If you click the "lock" button on the righthand top corner, the tabs interact with each other. Unlock it and they don't seem to... Could be a glitch here but that's how it appears.

All well and good but.... Digital Output S/PDIF is still not functioning. Will keep plugging until it does.. :)

Happy Safe Surfing out there.. :)